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To the bitter end: Blue Hawks fall despite heavy efforts

What ended as a three set loss for the DSU Bluehawks against Mayville Comets also showed off a team that will fight to the very end.

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DSU Bluehawk volleyball team takes on Mayville State University for the second time this season. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

What ended as a losing outcome for the Dickinson State University volleyball team against the Mayville State Comets on Thursday also displayed a team that will fight to the very end.

The Blue Hawks (5-9) came into Thursday's matchup hoping balance the season series at 1-1 against the Comets (19-9) along with snapping its three game losing streak. After falling in the first set 25-18, Dickinson State found its offensive rhythm more often in the second and third set, but still fell short, 25-22 in the second set, and 25-23 in the third to obtain the 3-0 sweep defeat. Nevertheless, up until the final point was made, Dickinson State continued to cheer each other on, never letting go of its winning spirit.

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(Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

“I think it's important to have (a winning mentality) no matter the situation. You are always going to have this fight but to accept that fight is up to you. You have to have the mentality to push,” freshman Cassidy Larson said. “If you think you are going to lose, you are going to play like you are losing. You have to have a good attitude and cheer your team on— even more than yourself.”

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The Blue Hawks offense matched the same velocity of its opponents and proved adaptable to each set. Though, the constant back-and-forth gradually gained Mayville State the lead in each set.

“I feel like we did a good job at keeping at them," senior Baylie Dashner said. "At the beginning we didn't focus on our game plan but once we picked up on how they were playing, we adjusted and we found a way to swing around the block and find the floor. We communicated well with each other on where the ball should be placed and helped each other with that.”

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Karlie Cleveland and Sarah Dobitz fell short of their dive to win Mayville Comets a lead in points. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

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Sarah Dobitz keeps focus and continues good communication to her team. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

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Bluehawk's backline stays sync as they get ready to defend from the Comets serve. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

Thursday's battle was the second time Dickinson State squared off against Mayville State this season, both concluding in a sweep loss for the Blue Hawks. However, Head Coach Jennifer Willis still found some silver linings along with seeing some things that can be worked on to help the Blue Hawks obtain future success.

“I feel proud of the way we played. We have some control of things that we need to clean up on our side and as soon as we do that it's going to be a lot better,” Willis said. “I think we just need to keep playing our game throughout the whole match … not let the other team control our pace.”

Willis takes the loss as a lesson for their potential encounter with the Comets in the upcoming conference tournament.

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“Keep swinging at them and being aggressive offensively, I thought we did a really good job with that,” Willis said. “Something that we are taking away from this game is that we need keep disciplined with our fundamentals."

The loss continues the Blue Hawks' skid to four. The team now hopes to end its band of losses in its upcoming home matchup against the 5-14 Presentation College Saints, which will also be the Blue Hawks senior night, on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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